Over half a million Australians skipped visiting their doctor because the cost was too high.
In their latest data, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimated that over $30 billion of health spending came directly from the pockets of consumers; an average of $1,235 per person, up from $1,082 in 2010-11.
Australia is the 2nd most expensive OECD country for out-of-pocket health expenses
OECD data shows that out-of-pocket health spending in Australia for 2013 – 2018 is second only to the United States, above Canada, the UK and New Zealand .
Private health insurance premiums – as well as general out-of-pocket costs – have been increasing well above CPI and wage rates for the last two decades. About 100,000 fewer Australians have private hospital cover today than a year ago.
Hospitals in almost every state and territory are recording overcrowding, ambulance ramping, and excessive waiting times.
Between October and December of last year, emergency departments in New South Wales had to deal with 25,000 more patients compared to the same period in 2017, and almost a quarter of a million more than in 2010.
At one stage, it was reported South Australia alone had the four worst performing emergency departments in the country.